Graphite is employed as a moderator and structural component in 18 of the UK's fleet of Magnox and Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs). During the operational lifetime of a reactor, graphite undergoes complex physical and mechanical property changes including dimensional modification, owing to the effects of temperature, oxidation and irradiation-induced atomic displacements. In order to safely extend the lifetime of the current fleet of AGRs, and also to develop materials for GenIV concepts such as the Very-High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR), it is important to gain a better understanding of the fundamental atomic processes which underpin the behaviour of graphite under current and future operational conditions. This study has focused on the effects of temperature and displacing radiation on the evolution of Mrozowski cracks in highly-orientated pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) using the new Microscope and Ion Accelerator for Materials Investigations (MIAMI) facility. This instrument allows transmission electron microscopy to be performed in situ whilst simultaneously ion irradiating to radiation damage levels typically reached in a reactor. By using this technique, it is possible to explore the development of radiation damage under a range of different conditions continuously from start-to-finish rather than just observing the end-states accessible in ex situ studies.
|Journal||Journal of Physics: Conference Series|
|Early online date||2 Jul 2012|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2012|
|Event||Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group Conference - Birmingham, United Kingdom|
Duration: 6 Sep 2011 → 9 Sep 2011